Santa’s not redundant yet, but …

Robert Hickson Dec 22, 2015

I was in Mega Mitre 10 on the weekend and noticed that they had a Dremel 3D printer for sale. For $1700 you can print your own little plastic figurines. It’s a bit cheaper on-line, but I still prefer to look at the woodworking tools. Nonetheless, I thought it interesting since it is the first I’ve … Read More

Sweden’s “Ministry of Future Issues”

Robert Hickson Nov 30, 2015

Motherboard has a short interview with Kristina Persson, whom they call the Minister of the Future. Although her official title is Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation.   Her work involves: “… pursuing the long-term development of ideas at the Government Offices. This will include the green transition, jobs and distribution, and initiatives to influence the global agenda … Read More

Blindspots to the future

Robert Hickson Nov 18, 2015

Why is it more commonplace to attempt to predict technological developments, but not to be as speculative about cultural changes? Tom Vanderbilt, writing in the Nautilus, discusses this. I’ve touched on this previously (and here) but Vanderbilt does it in more depth. He suggests that we both fail to notice some changes, and fail to … Read More

Commodified futurism

Robert Hickson Nov 13, 2015

An article by Lee Billings in the September edition of Nautilus caught my attention this week. While it looked at some of the forgotten work of Polish science fiction writer and philosopher Stanislaw Lem (someone I haven’t, yet, read), what struck me most was Billings’ phrase “commodified futurism”. He applied this to “Silicon Valley billionaires”, and meant those … Read More

Energy scenarios for New Zealand

Robert Hickson Nov 04, 2015

It’s good to see more futuring emerging in NZ. A few weeks ago, the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand released a report on the risk to jobs of automation.  I’ve previously noted the research from Oxford University that this is based on, as well as the caution that it’s a relatively simplistic model … Read More

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Best. Invention. Ever?

Robert Hickson Oct 16, 2015

Everyone’s got their own view on what are, or will be, the greatest inventions or most disruptive technologies. Live Science offer up their top 10 inventions that changed the world, though no clear criteria for why these 10 and not others are the top. Other sites do the same, with varying degrees of overlap, but similarly opaque criteria.  Another … Read More


Robert Hickson Oct 09, 2015

Matan Stauber has created an interesting interactive historical website, spanning 14 billion years, called Histography. It’s based on Wikipedia, so is idiosyncratic in what it covers. But it is fun to explore. Screenshot from Histography’s interactive site – A few years ago I noted the fictional timeline of the future created by … Read More

A good time to be alive

Robert Hickson Oct 08, 2015

It’s a good time to be alive, on many counts. BBC’s Horizons show looks back on the progress of some of the technology developments that they covered over the past five years.  That’s great, because often we only hear about the hype and hope at the start of a new development, and not what transpires later … Read More